There are lots of ways to volunteer with Mālama Pūpūkea-Waimea. Our dedicated volunteers are critical to the success of the Marine Life Conservation District. Whether you are an individual, a family, friends, a school group, or club, you can help!
If you’d like to contribute, stop by our community outreach tent on Saturdays between 10am-2pm.
Additional days during the week are available for groups.
What Do MPW Volunteers Do?
Mālama Pūpūkea-Waimea (MPW) volunteers are key to raising awareness of the MLCD’s fragile marine life and protected status. Volunteers provide information about marine ecology, regulations, and collect important biological, water quality, and human--use data – to residents and visitors. Our volunteers have fun at the beach, share the day with friends, learn about this special place, gain satisfaction from helping people and marine life. As part of the MPW ‘ohana you can have fun in a beautiful location, team up with like--minded people, and make a positive difference in protecting Hawai‘i’s precious marine life!
The following is a list of volunteer opportunities with us:
Outreach & Education – We set up our community outreach tent each Saturday (summer hours are 8am-4pm, winter hours are 10am-2pm)) at Sharks Cove. Volunteers help us set up and break down, and help us educate visitors to the tent about everything from species identification to directions to other places. If you enjoy hanging out in the shade and talking to people from all around the world, this is the job for you!
Makai Watch – Our Makai Watch program is a fantastic collaboration between our community and the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement (DOCARE) officers. Volunteers are trained to accurately identify and report violations, helping to reduce poaching in the Marine Life Conservation District.
Biological Monitoring – Our volunteers who love to be in the water are trained to help us conduct fish counts. We monitor six species of Hawaiian fish, and during summer months when the surf is calm, participants spend time helping us keep track of them. You can come by any Saturday to be trained to help us. It’s a fun way to both help out and get in the water…plus the underwater paper is pretty cool! For volunteers who prefer to stay where their feet can touch, we also have tide pool surveys, where we monitor fish and invertebrates.
Human Use Monitoring – Each Saturday, we count people and keep track of how the MLCD is being used. Our volunteers count swimmers, snorkelers, beachgoers and more. Over time, this information helps us identify peak use times and lets us know when we need to increase our presence in the area.
Native Hawaiian Plant Coastal Restoration Project – Volunteers have been the driving force behind our planting project. After seeing a need to help reduce erosion and sedimentation at Sharks Cove, hundreds of volunteers have helped us remove invasive weeds and shrubs, and plant thousands of native Hawaiian Plants in their place. If you like working with plants, landscaping, weeding, or if you just like being in the dirt, join us to help save the coral in the Cove! If you or your group would like to participate, watch this awesome slide show that explains the project, grab your hat, and come by any Saturday between 8am-4pm. We’ll supply the tools and gloves!
Beach Cleanups – Last year, over 2000 pounds of trash was removed from the water, beaches, and shoreline of the Marine Life Conservation District. Help us reach our 2018 goal of 2500 pounds of trash removed. This is a great activity for families and groups. We supply the gloves, picker-uppers, and bags. Stop by any Saturday and we’ll get you going. If you’re a diver, you can help, too! Any trash, fishing line, weights or other rubbish – no matter how small – is bad for the environment. If you can bring it in, we’ll add it to the pile. All trash is weighed before being recycled and/or thrown away.
Ready to learn more? Click here to sign-up!